Ohio zoo presses charges against man who petted cougars
Columbus, Ohio — Ohio zoo officials say they are pressing charges against a man who jumped a fence to pet cougars, then posted his video on YouTube.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says the Delaware County Sheriff’s office has charged a suspect with a misdemeanor count of trespassing. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Tracy Whited says 35-year-old Joshua Newell was served Friday with a summons to appear in court Wednesday.
The video posted earlier this week shows an outer fence being jumped, then two cougars being petted through another fence as a voice says things such as “Kitty, kitty, kitty.”
Columbus Zoo CEO Tom Stalf says in a statement that animal welfare and safety are top priorities. He calls the video “alarming.”
A telephone listed to Newell’s suburban Gahanna address rang busy Saturday.